Friday, November 21, 2014

Bounty of Herbs

herbals Bounty of Herbs

This year I’m celebrating pretty much everything that grows in my garden – as I think everyone should.

Happily, I’ve never had trouble growing herbs. Which means, I love, love, love growing just about all of them!

This weekend, along with these gorgeous tomatoes and some more tasty strawberries,

bounty Bounty of Herbs

I gathered some

Cilantro

cilantro Bounty of Herbs

which can be planted in Spring and again in late Summer.

This herb is one of the easiest herbs to grow from seeds sown directly in your garden. This entire plant is edible. Of course, I love the leaves in salsa and salads, but you can use the roots in stir-fries.

If you let this herb go to seed, you can harvest the seeds – which are known as the spice coriander.

I also picked some mint.

mint Bounty of Herbs

This is spearmint – one of my favorites for making tea. I also use the leaves in salads and, of course, mojitos – alcoholic and also… did you know it tastes good in iced coffee – a sort of coffee mojito.

Mint is also easy to dry, so you can save the leaves for making teas in the future. Mint seems to season well here, in this climate, over the winter. Be careful though, mint can be an aggressive spreader. So, your best bet might be to keep it planted in pots.

Thyme is another herb I cut some sprigs of this weekend.

thymelav Bounty of Herbs

A lot of my thyme I grow from cuttings that I set in water until they grow roots. It’s amazing how easy it is. In fact, many herbs can be propagated this way. Just make clean cuttings and place them in a vase or glass of water. Replenish the water every couple of days until a nice group of roots have grown. The rooted cuttings can then be transplanted into your garden or into pots of soil where they’ll continue growing.

Cooking with thyme boosts the flavor of a lot of the vegetables I cook. Also, the oil in thyme can help break down the fats in many foods making them more digestable. (a tip from the magazine Natural Home and Garden).

Finally, this weekend, I picked a bunch of lavender blooms. WOW, all of them smell just simply lovely.

lave Bounty of Herbs

Lavender has many uses. I’m sure you’ve heard of it’s calming effects. I love to just harvest the little purple buds and save them to place in sachets and in bath tea bags to run under the faucet for a relaxing bath time. You can also simply place some sprigs on your pillow to give it a nice calming scent before bedtime.

To keep herbs I pick at the ready, I usually just place them in a vase in the kitchen. Then they’re there to smell yummy and be used when the time comes.

bounty 3 Bounty of Herbs

I’d love to hear what herbs you’re having luck growing and what you’re doing with them…making vinegars, oils, etc. I’ll have more tips from other herbs I’ve been growing soon.

Enjoy,
~ Lita

 

 

pixel Bounty of Herbs

Comments

15 Responses to “Bounty of Herbs”
  1. 1
    Jessica Anne says:

    Gorgeous pictures! I’m jealous, again. :) Nothing growing in my garden except oregano (it spreads a lot too). I love putting them in a vase until you need them though. I’ll have to remember that.

  2. 2

    i cried a little when david got rid of our lavender. it was getting overtaken by buggies, so it had to go. all of your herbs look fab– i want a big bouquet of them in the kitchen!

  3. 3
    Tarayza says:

    Can I come live with you? :-)

  4. 4
    Lita says:

    tell me about oregano!!!! It tried (and continues to try) to take over my whole yard…I hate pulling it up, but I have to or it would run every other plant out! I try to dig it up nicely and give it away for others to plant. Luckily I love the smell! (and to cook with it too :)

  5. 5
    Lita says:

    Ya know…I find lavender the hardest to keep looking nice. This past winter, I seriously chopped all the lavender plants down pretty low. I was super nervous, but now they are GORGEOUS! I hope I have it in me to chop them again next winter as I think that’s what they need…otherwise, mine too, have gotten buggy and leggy and just downright ugly!

  6. 6
    Lita says:

    Don’t TEASE!!! heehee – of course you can come live here…any time – I would LOVE it!!!!

  7. 7
    Sami says:

    I love herbs!! I always want to try gardening but I’m scared… I have a black thumb! If it’s easy, though, maybe it’ll give me some confidence… :)

  8. 8

    I *LOVE* the bouquet! LOVE! I kept meaning to pick up more herbs this spring to try my hand at growing them – again. But I’m not much of a gardener, and the last ones I attempted to grow never made it out of the planters before they bit the dust.

  9. 9

    I love herbs. I actually have mint and basil in pots on my back porch and I’m so tickled with them. I also have a strawberry plant as well and have picked a few little berries so far. It is so fun.

  10. 10
    Tarayza says:

    Not teasing! I just love your lifestyle darling! Everything looks so fab I want to be there with you amongst it all!!

  11. 11
    Lita says:

    Oh I should absolutely love it when I get some of the strawberries in the backyard before the critters do!! I’m not successful all the time, but I try. Are you able to keep your basil going all year? I haven’t been able to yet…maybe if I move them inside over winter. We don’t have a super cold winter here, but it seems to be just enough to do them in.

  12. 12
    Lita says:

    Thanks!! I definitely find if I cut the herbs and bring them inside, I’m more likely to use them…plus a bonus is they smell so yummy!

  13. 13
    Lita says:

    Truly, herbs are the easiest thing I grow. They have definitely given me the confidence to branch out and try flowers and veggies. I would suggest starting with mint and maybe basil. They seem to grow well everywhere I put them…good luck!

  14. 14
    jill conyers says:

    One of my favorite things to do when I cook is step outside on my back deck and grab a few herbs :)

    I love my herb garden but sadly I’ve only had luck with Basil. Need to do a little research and try again next year for cilantro, more basil, parsley and maybe rosemary. I’m also going to try growing tomatoes and maybe a pepper or 2. All depending on what can be grown within a small space. Loved reading this!

  15. 15
    Lita says:

    Isn’t it the best to have herbs ready when you need them?? I didn’t have luck starting any from seed until this year. My trick was to keep the seedlings super warm (under plastic) until they were a hearty size. My tomato plants look kinda mangy this year, but, WOW, the tomatoes are tasty!! Good Luck!

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